Reviewed by: Douglas M. Downs
Produced by: Big Idea Productions
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” —Proverbs 16:18
It is sometimes difficult to communicate spiritual concepts and positive character traits to children. There have been many writers that have tried to do just that. As early as the fables of Aesop and as recent as Dr. William J. Bennett’s Children’s Book of Virtues, children have been encouraged to understand the ideas of right and wrong. The challenge is to use an abstract word picture to reinforce these concrete values. The team at Big Idea Productions is attempting to do just that.
A zany group of arctic birds travel all the way from space to teach young minds about complaining, cheating and patience. The fourth episode in the series deals with the subject of pride. The 3-2-1 Penguins series is achieving tremendous success in doing just that. Since its debut in November 2000, the birds have flown over 1 million units to stores and held the #1 position on the CBA kid-vid charts for more than 45 consecutive weeks.
Our wacky space adventurers are Zidgel, Midgel, Fidgel and Kevin. They are assisted by their “Earthling friends” Jason and Michelle. In this episode, Michelle joins the Penguins on a mission to restore the beacon at Lightstation Kilowatt. She and her friends must repair the beacon before the F.S.S. Emperor’s Pride crashes into a giant cosmic reef. Michelle is drawn into this adventure after a conflict with her brother Jason over the issue of Pride. Pride is not an easy topic and this brother and sister wrestle like many do over being puffed up.
Earlier Michelle was introduced to Proverbs 16:18 by her grandma. She now finds the context of this scripture intersecting her relationship with Jason and helping the Penguins solve their dilemma. I love every ounce of creativity that went into this episode. I like the idea of Michelle working through her own prideful attitude by helping others do the same thing. There is a rockin’ Penguins bonus at the end. I still remember when some early cartoon shows used to do this. A musical tune would be used to sum up the lesson you just learned (do you remember “Fat Albert”?) The song “Space Surfin’ Superstar” is also a musical take on pride.
I recommend that DVD owners splurge and buy the DVD. It is well worth it to get all the extras. This video certainly won’t cure pride—only God can do that, but it will help parents to interact with their children on this topic. If you use these videos to only entertain, you have missed the point.